A few families meeting in the home of Jolly and Suma at Samata Nagar, Thane. A small visible expression of the invisible church.
Jolly had sent us an SMS earlier in the week asking us to read the Gospel of Mark, chapters 4-6, and be ready to share what had touched us.
There are times when even in our small group we have had a funeral silence at the time for sharing.
"Who is this man? " the terrified disciples asked when Jesus comanded the waves and wind to be silent - and they obeyed.
Who is He?
A man who demonstrates the very power of God. A man who does things that only almighty God can.
He spoke and the raging waves and wind stopped. Twice.
When He chose to, Jesus walked across the raging waves - prompting his followers to think that an apparition was crossing the lake.
Jesus commanded unclean spirits to leave - and they did. A legion of them left one man. The man who was cutting himself and breaking chains and living naked among the tombs was changed into a man who was in his right mind.
Jesus showed his power over sickness. He cured a woman with a gynaecological problem that had persisted for 12 years. The social stigma of an uncured reproductive problem. The physical suffering and weakness for the constant issue of blood. The poverty she was in from having spent all she had on the various physicians of her time. The deep loneliness of this woman whom no one could touch because she was considered unclean. The spiritual isolation from not being able to appear in the temple due to her ritual pollution. Jesus understood all this suffering and allowed her to be healed when she touched his robe. And called her back - not to condemn her for polluting the entire crowd with her presence - but in order to let her tell her story, to affirm her and to send her on her way in peace.
Jesus demonstrated his power over death. A young girl of 12 was raised back to life by his word. Professional mourners laughed at him - but Jesus showed that he was no ordinary man when the girl was given back to her shocked parents - alive.
Jesus was compassionate to a fault. After the death of his cousin John, and after his own disciples were exhausted and hungry he took them across the lake to be alone with them. Upon seeing the crowds who had run to that desolate place he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. He loved them and taught them and looked after them when the evening came and they did not have food.
Jesus was willing to stop for one person in a crowd. He marched to the beat of a different drummer. He confounded the expectations of all around Him. Jesus loved and loved fully. He was misunderstood even by his mother and brothers - and rejected in his own home synagogue - yet he continued to do what Father God wanted Him to do. An obedient and loving son to the end.
Jesus had a unique relationship with each person. The healings recorded all take different hues. There is no cookie-cutter approach here. Jesus knows and loves those who come to him. He speaks truth into their lives and brings change - the Kingdom of God which all were waiting for. One person at a time.
Jesus was humble, but yet he retained his authority. He accepted a child's dinner and shared it with 5000 men (plus women and children too). Yet after the meal He packs off his disciples and then dismisses the entire throng alone.
Jesus spent time with His Father. In all of the excitement of what we hear about in Mark we also see that Jesus went up on the mountain - alone - to pray.
Who is this man?
The Word made flesh.
God fully us - and yet not bent and twisted like we are.
Mark writes the following: "...the Son of Man did not come to serve, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10.45)
What a privilege to spend a morning on the first day of the week with God's people. Praising Him and meditating together on who He is. What a joy to hear what God is doing in each others lives. How amazing it is to come together and to sing praises and pray to the one who spoke stars and galaxies and universes into being.
This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow Him,
To give our lives, as a daily offering,
Of worship to, the Servant King
- Graham Kendrick